International Day of Cooperatives

Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateJuly 6, 2024
2025 DateJuly 5, 2025

International Day of Cooperatives

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International Day of Cooperatives History

International Day of Cooperatives aims to raise awareness about the contributions of cooperatives to society, specifically in terms of social integration, sustainable employment, and poverty alleviation. This event serves as an opportunity to celebrate and examine the successes and challenges faced by cooperatives across the globe. More importantly, it highlights the ways in which these enterprises continue to promote social cohesion, economic empowerment, and mutual support among their members.

The United Nations established the International Day of Cooperatives in 1992, and since then, it has become a vital platform for fostering dialogue about the cooperative sector's role in sustainable development. In America, cooperatives play a crucial part in various aspects of the economy, from agriculture and retail to banking and energy. It is estimated that over 30,000 cooperatives exist in the United States, employing more than one million people and providing essential goods and services to millions of Americans. As such, the International Day of Cooperatives serves as a reminder of the importance of these enterprises in promoting a fairer and more inclusive economy in the United States.

To observe International Day of Cooperatives in America, various activities and events are organized by cooperatives, associations, and organizations at the national, regional, and local levels. These activities may include seminars, workshops, fairs, and networking events focused on discussing cooperative principles, success stories, and best practices. Additionally, they provide opportunities for businesses and individuals to learn about the benefits and advantages of working in or supporting cooperative enterprises. The International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated every year on the first Saturday of July, making it an essential observance for those interested in the cooperative sector in America.

International Day of Cooperatives facts

  • The theme for International Day of Cooperatives in 2023 was Cooperatives: partners for accelerated sustainable development.
    The theme in 2022 was Cooperatives Build a Better World.
  • Globally, 1 billion people are members of cooperatives according to the IWDC.
  • According to IWDC, in 2023, there are over 30,000 cooperatives operating in every sector of the U.S. economy.

Top things to do in the US for this observance

  • Explore upcoming events near you. The International Cooperative Alliance hosts events that focus on community and societal growth.
  • Watch the UN's 2020 International Day of Cooperatives video if you missed it. The video focuses on cooperative solutions that can help lower the risks of climate change.
  • Learn more about the International Cooperative Alliance. Founded in 1895, it is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations. It is also one of the largest organizations. It represents almost 1 billion cooperative members.
  • Watch a Documentary to learn more about Cooperatives in America:
    Food For Change - It's a feature-length documentary focusing on food co-operatives as a force for dynamic social and economic change in American culture.
    Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work - This is a documentary about employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.

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